Hi there everyone and welcome back, or welcome for the first time to Limitedmagic.com. I have been asked to write about what deck I will be playing at Game Day this weekend. I’ll give the deck list and I’ll walk through card choices. I’m not playing a brew sadly, but I am playing one of my favorite deck archetypes of all time. I present to you, UW Control!

I’ve been playing and testing with this deck for a while now, basically since the start of the format. I briefly tried W/U/R but it didn’t impress me and I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. It wasn’t as consistent as I’d like it. That is part of the reason I don’t particularly like Esper (W/U/B) control, either. I feel like the mana issues in the deck would frustrate me more than anything. I admit that the Esper deck is quite good, but I feel it has more tough matchups than just U/W, like RDW. If someone could convince me to play Esper, I may switch over, but I haven’t found a reason to switch decks yet. Oh and I only have one Ashiok.

In the main I have the basic core of the deck (which is generally not interchangeable between U/W Control decks) in AEtherling, Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, Jace, Architect of Thought, Azorius Charm, Supreme Verdict, Sphinx’s Revelation, and Detention Sphere. As for counterspells, it is pretty much up to the player’s preference on which combination they’d like to play. Most builds have 2 Dissolves and 2 Syncopates. I opted to play the Essence Scatter main and it has been pretty good for me, so I’ve kept it in after edits. It’s so good in the creature match-ups but not good enough to play over other counter spells. Celestial Flare main is absolutely insane and I love it. I’ve considered multiple times to put in a second one, but I would probably have to cut the Essence Scatter. I’m trying to diversify my options in Game 1, and Celestial Flare isn’t very good at all against other Control decks.

Divination is a great card that never really got to shine when Think Twice or other better draw spells existed. If Divination was instant it would’ve seen more play initially. Right now, it’s the best we have to just straight up draw cards for one card. As a control deck you have to be able to keep the card advantage. Right now, I’m considering on cutting one Divination for something else, but I’m not entirely sure what I would put in, maybe another Celestial Flare. My problem with cutting Divination is that I really need all of them in the Control match ups. The profit for cutting one is that I generally side one or two Divination out when I’m playing aggro decks for more removal. Having better spot removal is the key to wining many of the aggro match ups, like G/W or Mono Red. Ratchet Bomb is very good right now against many decks. It reliably hits Advent of the Wurm tokens (or any other for that matter), easily hits the 1,2,3-drops that decks are playing right now. If I ratchet up and sit on it, it can effectively keep my opponent from casting a Jace, Architect of Thought or what have you. The final card in main is Jace, Memory Adept. This is my Game 1 trump card against other Control Decks. If it sticks around for too long, I just win. Against aggro, it’s unexciting but not useless.

Now for the sideboard! Pithing Needle has been around for a while but hasn’t been too great. Now with control being more viable, with planeswalkers and AEtherlings having activated abilities, as well as any other activated ability any deck could be playing, Pithing Needle is much more side-boardable. Yoked Ox says “COME AT ME BRO” because it just blocks all day long. I love that this card is actually being played. It comes down early against the hyper aggro decks like Mono Red. Another Celestial Flare is good and often comes in depending on the matchup. Negate is a necessary card against Control and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s been a sideboard card for blue for quite a while. It counters effectively everything that a Control opponent will be playing. Last Breath is also a really good card, it’s actually almost mainboard-able. In fact, some people actually do. It deals with powerful effect creatures like Voice of Resurgence, Experiment One, Elvish Mystic, Rakdos Cackler, and many more. 4 life is nothing to give them because you can take that away easily after you’ve taken control of the board. Glare of Heresy is perhaps my favorite card in the sideboard. It hits so many powerful permanents like Detention Sphere, Voice of Resurgence, Fleecemane Lion, Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, Soldier of the Pantheon, and the list goes on. It however it is more restrictive so it always starts in the side and never the main. There is also a second Jace, Memory Adept because it’s so good against control. A weird card that no one seems to be playing is Gainsay. I actually really like it as a diversification option because it really helps against Control. It effectively is a Negate that can also hit AEtherling. I’ve been thinking of replacing for another Negate but I am not sure just quite yet. The final card is Lavinia of the Tenth. This is a new addition to the deck and I haven’t seen anyone playing with it. When it comes down, it puts aggro decks to a dead stop, it’s unlikely they have anything that is bigger than this and can get past the Detain. Then, ideally I would be siding this against Mono Red or R/G decks. The protection from red clause just rips apart many of their ways to deal with creatures. She can’t be targeted by Domri Rade and his fighting ability. She can’t be burned. She blocks all of Mono Red and doesn’t care. The list of cards that are being played right now that she is good against is quite baffling if you think about it. I think she is quite playable and hope I’m on to something with her. However I cannot take all the credit for the idea because a friend of mine told me to try her out after to losing to her. I like her so far.

Well that’s it, that’s the list I’m running that has shown me quite a bit of success. Unless I get a new idea to change something after FNM tonight, this will be my list for Game Day. If you have any suggestions or want to talk further about my deck or decks in the format, let me know. Leave me a comment, email me keithcodyj@limitedmagic.com, or find me on Twitter @keithcodyj. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Good luck at FNM and Game Day!